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Kingdom’s junior football teams upbeat

By Aline Bannayan - Aug 29,2017 - Last updated at Aug 29,2017

AMMAN — The U-16 team has concluded its final training camp as they prepare for the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifiers set to take place from September 16 to 24.

The team played the UAE in two friendlies drawing 1-1 and winning 2-1 as they start the countdown for the qualifiers where Jordan will play in Group A alongside hosts Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Sri Lanka. 

Coach Abdullah Qitati noted the importance of the friendlies and expressed satisfaction in the team’s preparations noting the team’s “agenda was on course,” as they seek to advance in qualifiers after the squad failed to qualify to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

Meanwhile, the U-23 team, which qualified to the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018 will also prepare in two phases for the AFC Championship as well as the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Palestine and Jordan moved from Group E, Oman moved from Group A, Iraq and Saudi from Group B, Qatar and Syria from Group C, Uzbekistan from Group D, Australia from Group F, North Korea from Group G, Malaysia and Thailand from Group H, South Korea and Vietnam from Group I and China and Japan from Group J.

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship and failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot, as the continent’s top three advanced to the Rio Games football tournament. In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014, Jordan took third place when it beat South Korea while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia.

Jordan’s U-23 squad was eliminated from the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship in 2015, and in 2014 the line-up represented Jordan at the Asian Games where they made to the quarter-finals.

Similarly, the U-19 men’s team is set to play in Group E alongside Syria, Palestine and host Iran in AFC U-19 championship qualifying stage scheduled to take place from October 31 to November 8.

Jordan hopes to advance after they were eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the 2016 championship. 

 

Jordan previously qualified to the Asian Championship four times and reached the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the group stages in 2008 and 2010, and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2014 championship. 

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